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Honda will take on the executive car elite with an all-new Legend saloon, on sale in September.
The new car comes with a 291bhp V6 engine, a sophisticated four-wheel-drive system, innovative safety kit and comprehensive equipment, but prices will start at a steep Â£36,250.
That buys the EX version, complete with cruise control, leather upholstery, climate control, electrically adjustable seats, sat-nav and a CD multichanger. Pay Â£39,000 and the equipment list includes the Advanced Driver Assist Sytem (ADAS) and the Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS).
ADAS helps tired drivers stay in lane on motorways by gently steering the car between white lines, and audibly warning the driver if they are drifting out of the lane. It also features a radar cruise control system which adjusts the Legend's speed to that of the car in front.
CMBS uses the same radar to detect potential collisions, warn the driver, and apply the brakes. If the driver does not take action themselves the braking will become heavier and the seatbelts will tighten to reduce the risk of injury.
Honda accepts that in such a badge-conscious market it will be tough to make a big impression â one of the reasons the company has been absent from this class since 2001. The petrol-only line-up will also hold it back in a market dominated by diesels. However, Honda expects the new Legend to find 400 buyers per year.
Come back to whatcar.com for our first drive of the new Legend on July 1.
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